Friday afternoon, Gayle and I visited the Meijer Gardens and I thought you might like to see some of the pics. I took. Today (Sun.) is the last day for the butterflies. Over the last 2 months, over 7,000 butterflies and moths took flight in the Tropical Conservatory. We’ve been able to see over 60 species from Afriica, Asia and Central and South America.

Butterfly (Golden Helicon?) poses on a leaf in the Conservatory

I did not get a butterfly to land on me, but they let me get very close.

Small birds on the path in the conservatory

There are some small birds that walk around the ground and paths of the Conservatory. They were quite tame and I had to make sure I didn’t step on them. All birds in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory are native to the tropics and were raised in captivity. These birds include the Northern Red Bishop, Red-cheeked Cordon Bleu Finch, Chinese Painted Quail and Canary, among others.

Mother Goose sitting on her nest

Next, we headed outside to go to the pond on the east side of the Gardens. Here we saw a goose sitting on her nest. We actually saw several geese that appeared to be on a nest. This is called a “Canada Goose”, not a “Canadian Goose”. Now, if it’s from Canada, it would be a Canadian Canada Goose.

Pair of nesting swans in the East Pond at the Meijer Gardens

This is harder to see, but here’s a pair of nesting swans. You can learn more about the 4 species of swans we have in Michigan here.

Turtles in the pond in the rain

There were a couple of turtles that had crawled out of the water. It had started to rain lightly. Gayle spotted a raccoon that scurried under the boardwalk. We stopped to talk to a few people who recognized me.

Tulips and Daffodils by the Lena Meijer Farm

We came up from the pond to the Lena Meijer Farm. Here’s some pretty tulips and daffodils that were close to the graves of Fred and Lena. I always stop and say “hi” when I pass by. I always enjoyed the brief encounters I had with Fred and Lena. We would cross paths at a charitable event and a time or two at the Gardens or at the TV station.

Magnolia Tree at the Meijer Gardens

Here’s a magnolia tree, apparently unscathed from the frost we had last week. You can have beautiful flowers on a magnolia that can last for days if the weather is cool (but not frosty) or it can be hot, with the blossoms not lasting very long, or you can get a hard frost and all the petals can be on the ground in a matter of hours.

Azalea or Rhododendron

Azaleas and Rhododendrons look similar. You may have seen the azaleas at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta GA.

More pretty flowers at the Meijer Gardens

These pretty flowers were in the Japanese Garden Area at the Meijer Gardens

Japanese Gardens – April 28 2023 Friday

Here’s the view from the hill at the west edge of the Japanese Garden. There were flowers and blossoms. The leaves were just starting to emerge. The waterfalls made a happy sound as the splashed into the pond. A number of birds flew overhead, enjoying the cloudy, damp spring day.

“Tunnel of Blossoms” at the Japanese Garden at the Meijer Gardens 4 28 23

This was probably the most beautiful place in the Gardens. It’s a “tunnel of blossoms”. You can see they were dropping to the ground, so I got there just in time. This was on the west end of the Japanese Garden.

Koi in the pond by the main waterfall in the Sculpture Park at the Meijer Gardens 4 28 23

Here youl can see a couple of koi in the water at the waterfall in the Sculpture Park. The koi were here when I visited on January 11, so they appear hardy enough to stay out in the winter.

Duck on the pond by the waterfall in the Sculpture Park at the Meijer Gardens 4 28 23

There was one duck swimming in the pond by the waterfall in the Sculpture Park. Mallards are the most common of the 20 kinds of ducks that call Michigan home. Mallards have a very wide range, across almost all of the U.S. and southern Canada.

Three horses at the Meijer Gardens

Here’s a pic. I took of the 3 horses in the center of the Gardens. There’s the little horse that you can touch, a lifesize horse and the giant horse, standing 24 feet tall. That one is called “The American Horse”.

This happy little panda is in the Children’s Area of the Gardens

Although most of the animal sculptures in the Gardens feature creatures found in the United States, this charming bronze panda is a notable exception. The panda’s surfaces are carefully maintained to achieve the effects of the black and white fur. A special place among bamboo was created for this work in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden.

Great Lakes play area in the Children’s Area of the Gardens

They have filled the Great Lakes with water in the Children’s area of the Gardens and kids were there playing with the boats – watching sail from Lake Superior to Lake Ontario. You can remember the 5 Great Lakes by thinking of the word “HOMES” – each letter is the first letter of one of the Great Lakes. Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes that is totally within the United States.

Bill at the exhibit of Cristina Iglesias

Back inside we stopped inside to see the Cristina Iglesias exhibit. We had an exchange student from Spain has become a leading architect in Switzerland. Both Cristinas are very talented. It took a lot of work and creativity to bring this exhibit to completion and I thoroughly recommend you taking some time to check it out if you get to the gardens this summer.

Bill with tulips and hyacinths at the Meijer Gardens on Friday April 28 2023

One last picture. Behind me there was a garden of tulips and hyacinths. COVID took my sense of smell down a notch or two, but even to me the hyacinths were fragrant and beautiful.

Thanks for reading my blog – Have an awesome week.